The Two Houses (2018): Fran Cooper


When I discovered a copy of Fran Cooper’s new novel the other week, I couldn’t believe my luck. You might remember that I thoroughly enjoyed her debut, These Dividing Walls, a compassionate story of tensions within the walls of a Parisian apartment block. Her new novel is of a different stripe: a tale of Londoners Jay and Simon, whose dream holiday home in Yorkshire turns out to have unexpected baggage. The aptly-named Two Houses used to be one building, but its central rooms were cut out, levelled to the ground after the tragic death of its former owner’s wife, and rumoured to have housed a ghostly presence. From the moment she arrives, Jay feels a strange rapport with the unloved building, but she and Simon will discover that the villagers take a grim view of the new arrivals, and that Two Houses has yet to give up all its dark secrets…

Continue reading